The Birth of Paradigm Chess30
10 October 2020
The Cape Pillars boutique hotel was the scene for the inaugural Paradigm Chess30 social round-robin which would produce thrilling battles. The 8 players were equipped with shields, masks, pins and pieces of mass destruction before each game. As the first personal encounter for many of the friends after months of lock-down restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was sure to be fun to flex the elbows again.
A tense, yet exciting ambience.
The morning started with a warm welcoming and a brief historical outline of the inspiration and origin of Paradigm Chess30 with particular emphasis on MRL Chess Paradigm (a variant of Fischer Random Chess & Xiangqi). Furthermore, it was demonstrated that Xiangqi(Chinese Chess) is at the core of the Paradigm because with MRL Chess Paradigm the Xiangqi anti-draw rules are used and with Paradigm Chess30 the Xiangqi horse in combination with the classical bishop movement are utilised.
The players randomly took their seats before the first round which would essentially determine their fate as each table had a designated player number hidden under each mug to determine the sequence of events for the day. After all protocols were observed it was finally time for liftoff, with seven rounds of 20minutes + 10seconds Bronstein delay as the time control. In the first round, the original chess position was selected, and for the rest of the rounds, a randomization of the unique Paradigm30 positions followed.
Lourenzo van Niekerk and Roland Willenberg discussing the origins of Paradigm Chess30 using Xiangqi (Chinese Chess).
The introduction of the Dragon Bishop was by far the centre of attention for the occasion as the players tread carefully through the morning session. During lunchtime, it was time to reflect and share initial experiences, with many left in awe and excited for more. One of the country’s top International Masters and favourite personalities said “he felt like a beginner again” with glistening eyes of enjoyment. Daniel Barrish our South African Champion had a slow start, but after that got the hang of it, finished with 4 straight wins in 4th place. After 28 gruelling matches, Craig Willenberg, who is also the co-founder of Paradigm Chess30, emerged as the champion on the day with 6/7 points followed by IM Henry Steel and IM Watu Kobese in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
The celebration was indeed one for the books with our elite players enthusiastically enjoying the new variant. The objective of Paradigm Chess30 was indeed achieved, producing flames on the board, with only 2 fighting draws due to forceful repetition and insufficient material respectively. We look forward to seeing more of these exhilarating events in the future and hope to attract more players and host more sections.
Paradigm Chess30 Celebration
Cross-table with results
IM Mohamed Henry Steel and Craig Willenberg discussing the game and future adventures
A special thanks to DDG Health & Beauty for sponsoring and facilitating the celebration.
Yours in Chess
WFM Lauren Willenberg